Intuitive Comprehensibility of Process Models

Conference paper
Part of the Communications in Computer and Information Science book series (CCIS, volume 360)


The number of researches in the field of practical business process modeling (BPM) as well as process model (PM) quality and its influencing factors is very low. In this paper we address two aspects in that regard. We investigate the use of semiformal modeling languages in companies. To that end, we performed a pen and paper experiment involving 43 participants in 2011. Thereof, we derived four process design archetypes. The results reveal that formal BPM has still not been accepted as a useful practice in firms - mainly flowcharts are used for process design. We seize this circumstance in the second part of this work focussing on the comprehensibility of BPM languages. Based on the survey data of 77 employees obtained in 2012, we analyzed to what extent different PMs are understood by individuals. We found that the comic representation storyboard design is intuitive and easily understood. BPMN and UML also achieved good results, albeit subject to certain restrictions. Participants had problems with EPC and across all notations with concurrent activities. We therefore recommend the use of storyboards in field BPM as well as further accompanying investigations.


BPM business process modeling design quality understandability 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Information Technologies and Business InformaticsCAMPUS 02 University of Applied SciencesGrazAustria

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